real life test kitchen: procrastinator’s colcannon


Actually, it’s just traditional Irish colcannon — potatoes and cabbage — but it took me two years to get this recipe made. Promise me you won’t wait that long. The mix of buttery cabbage and potatoes is great this time of year. See the recipe from Tyler’s Ultimate, after the jump. — Sarah L.

Irish Colcannon


3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
2 sticks butter
11/4 cups hot milk
1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1 (1-pound) piece ham or bacon, cooked the day before
4 scallions, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish


Steam the potatoes in their skins for thirty minutes. Peel them using a knife and fork. Chop with a knife before mashing. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps. Add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, stirring all the time. Season with a few grinds of black pepper.

Boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tablespoons butter to tenderize it. Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly before returning it to the pan. Chop into small pieces.

(Day before) Put the ham in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Drain. Remove any fat and chop into small pieces.

Add cabbage, scallions, and ham to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently.

Serve in individual soup plates. Make an indentation on the top by swirling a wooden spoon. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into each indentation. Sprinkle with parsley.

From our partners

I found a recipe for a similar dish, but using sweet potatoes and collard greens. Quite tasty.


Is that your Cornish ware, or did you get the photo from somewhere?

Sarah L.

DJ, got a link? That sounds great. I have a recipe for soup that uses sweet potatoes and kale.

Pencils, the Cornish ware is mine. I got them a few years ago, when I was looking on eBay for smaller-scale canister sets that didn’t hold a monstrous amount of flour sugar. Had no idea of the history at the time but love them!


I love Cornish ware too, my sister has a collection at her vacation house. I love the glaze on the regular dishes, it has such a great hand feel to it, if that makes any sense. And the color is just amazing.